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New survey results show huge burden of diabetes
Date:1/26/2009

to include the OGTT. The addition of the OGTT gives us greater confidence that we're seeing the true burden of diabetes and pre-diabetes in a representative sample of the U.S. population."

Diabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. It is the most common cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations in adults and a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95 percent of all diabetes cases and virtually all cases of undiagnosed diabetes. Pre-diabetes, which causes no symptoms, substantially raises the risk of a heart attack or stroke and of developing type 2 diabetes.

In its analysis, the team also found that:

  • The rate of diagnosed diabetes increased between the surveys, but the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes remained relatively stable.
  • Minority groups continue to bear a disproportionate burden. The prevalence of diabetes, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, in non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican- Americans is about 70 to 80 percent higher than that of non-Hispanic whites.
  • Diabetes prevalence was virtually the same in men and women, as was the proportion of undiagnosed cases.
  • Pre-diabetes is more common in men than in women (36 percent compared to 23 percent).
  • Diabetes is rare in youth ages 12 to 19 years, but about 16 percent have pre-diabetes.

"These findings have grave implications for our health care system, which is already struggling to provide care for millions of diabetes patients, many of whom belong to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly or minorities," said Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., director of the NIDDK. "Of paramount importance is the need to curb the obesity epidemic, which is the main factor driving the rise in type 2 diabetes."

The study is based on 2005-2006 data from the NHANES conducted by the CDC's National Cente
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Contact: Joan Chamberlain
niddkmedia@mail.nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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